Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.
Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. is a partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson, and the founder of its Washington, D.C., office. In addition to handling matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, Mr. Verrilli’s practice focuses on representing and counseling clients on multi-dimensional problems, where litigation, regulation, and public policy intersect to shape markets and industries in our evolving economy.
Mr. Verrilli is one of the nation’s premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates. He served as Solicitor General of the United States from June 2011 to June 2016. During that time he argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, was responsible for representing the United States government in all appellate matters before the High Court and in the courts of appeals, and was a legal advisor to President Barack Obama and the Attorney General.
Mr. Verrilli’s landmark victories include his successful advocacy in defense of the Affordable Care Act in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell; his successful advocacy for marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. Windsor; and his vindication of federal immigration authority in Arizona v. United States. He also achieved important victories in two patent cases, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, in a case vindicating the president’s foreign affairs authority in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, and in numerous cases involving civil rights, women’s rights and other matters of national importance.
In addition to these matters, Mr. Verrilli’s U.S. Supreme Court arguments have included cases involving antitrust, copyright, telecommunications, the environment, the First Amendment, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, the separation of powers, criminal law and other federal constitutional and statutory matters.
Before serving as Solicitor General, Mr. Verrilli served as Deputy White House Counsel, and previously as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice. In those positions, he counseled President Obama, Cabinet secretaries, and other senior government officials on a wide range of legal issues involving national security, economic regulation, domestic policy and the scope of executive and administrative authority.
Before joining the government, Mr. Verrilli spent two decades in private practice representing companies in their most high stakes matters, particularly in the areas of media and entertainment, telecommunications and First Amendment law. During this time, Mr. Verrilli argued a dozen cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, which established in 2005 that file-sharing services were subject to the copyright laws, and FCC v. NextWave, which established that the bankruptcy laws allow FCC licensees to keep their licenses while reorganizing. He also achieved a landmark victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in Wiggins v. Smith, a case that established the standards for effective assistance of counsel in capital sentencing proceedings.
While in practice previously, he taught First Amendment law for many years at the Georgetown University Law Center.